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A challenge to the NIO’s treatment of Unionists | Jamie Bryson

The NIO‘s treatment of the unionist community and the Union in recent years and months has been little short of appalling. This week at Queen’s University, Belfast, the generous and statesman-like contribution by Senator George Mitchell stands in contrast to the appalling diatribe launched by the increasingly delusional Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

So absurd, offensive and detached from unionism was Mr Heaton-Harris’s speech that it could only have come from the Northern Ireland Office.

Following this I challenged the Minister of State, Steve Baker on the Government’s repeated lying to Unionists, and asked him to cease the waffle and instead set out for me precisely when the Government would be delivering on their express promise to restore the Acts of Union.

Mr Baker had no answer other than to distract with waffle about unionism compromising. I hope he now understands unionism will not be compromising on the Union not implementing its subjugation.

The NIO need to come to terms with the fact that, with all due respect, the unionist electorate is not found in the Whitla Hall or amongst the great and the good. Cheers and applause from non-unionists will not, for one moment, have any impact amongst the unionist community.

The Secretary of State and Mr Baker would I am sure love unionism to compromise on the Union and implement its subjugation, but unlike the self-styled ‘hardmen’ of Brexit, unionism is made of sterner stuff.

There are things beyond the scope of compromise. After 25 years of the ethos that ‘unionism must give, and nationalism must get’, enough was enough long ago. We are now asked to implement the subjugation and suspension of the Union, it is not happening. It doesn’t matter how much pressure is applied.

They ought to remember unionism withstood 30 years of the IRA brutal terrorist campaign and wouldn’t bow the knee, do they really think Heaton-Harris and Baker is going to have any impact?”

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